Even Bree Condon Needs a Private Investigator
This week, a 24 year old man was accused of impersonating Guess model “Bree Condon” on internet dating site, SeekingMillionaire.com. The 24-year-old was deceiving wealthy men by posting photos of the model in order to obtain money. The model Bree Condon hired a private investigator to disclose who the suspect was, which led her to a male imposter named Justin Brown. Brown was then indicted on a felony theft charge.
At a private investigation company, we see similar cases to this regularly. Many men and women think they are dating the person of their dreams, and are left only to find that they have been humiliated and taken advantage of. Here are some tips from licensed private investigators to help you avoid being heartbroken, scammed, and deceived on the internet:
Watch out for anyone who seems too good to be true.
Start with chatting online and on the internet before immediately meeting in person. See if there are any odd behaviors you notice, or any lies you begin to catch. Remember to trust your instincts and if the story you are being told is too elaborated, chances are, it probably is.
Use Common Sense Online
Do not think you are ‘dating’ someone you have never met. Is the person telling you they are having financial problems? Do they always have some sort of excuse when you try to meet with them? Are they saying they want to meet you but cannot afford the trip? Do not lendout money to strangers! Are they lying? Internet lovers are said to lie about themselves more than half the time – do not believe anything without facts!
Request a Photo to Verify Who They Are
See if the photo of the person is real. Though this is not always possible, if the person
Stick to Video chat or Speak on the Telephone
Make sure they don’t have you calling a 1-900 number or something in another country. These numbers can bring your telephone bill up to hundreds of dollars. Also, just because the person sounds legit on the telephone, this still does not verify the story they are telling you.
Always Meet in a Public Setting
While this may seem like common sense, you would be suprised how many times people end up on the first date in a private place. By meeting in public, you are able to leave at any time and it is always the safer option of the two.
Verify their Information:
Darrin Giglio, a New York private investigator, says: “In today’s age, it is not uncommon to run a simple background check on a person you are seeing on the internet. If money is involved – it is a necessity.” By running a basic background check, you are able to verify the following:
- Date of birth/Age
- Residences & Properties Owned
- Possible Criminal Records
- Sexual Offenses
- Business Associates/Places of Business
- Liens, Judgments, Bankruptcies
- Marital Status
- Professional Licenses
- Vehicles Owned
Without conducting a background check to verify the facts, there is no way to determine if what your ‘dream date’ is saying is true. Often times on dating sites, con artist will take on different identities and live a ‘double life’ – lying about their name, using a pre-paid telephone number, and never letting you know anything with factual substance about their life. Although a background check might seem like overkill or just plain strange to you, in the long run it can save you from being scammed, having your heart broken, or worst – getting physically/mentally hurt & drained.